Geospatial Analyst, Estuary Technical Group, Institute for Applied Ecology
Michael Ewald is a Geospatial Analyst in the Estuary Technical Group at IAE, where he develops and uses advanced geospatial analysis methods / GIS to support coast-wide ecosystem-based management projects and monitor the effectiveness of numerous estuary restoration projects along the Oregon coast. His tasks involve data analysis, mapping, report writing, and field work on a variety of projects.
He earned his M.S. in Marine Resource Management from Oregon State University in 2013, where he studied airborne LIDAR accuracy in Oregon tidal wetlands using high-accuracy GPS surveys, quantitative vegetation surveys, and advanced statistical tools. LIDAR provides a high-resolution scan of the ground surface and is widely used within coastal management where the elevation of the ground relative to the water strongly influences the controlling drivers (e.g., water inundation duration and frequency, salinity, etc.) of estuarine ecosystems. Michael’s research provided estimates of LIDAR error in twelve different Oregon tidal wetland vegetation communities which enables LIDAR users and coastal managers to consider uncertainty in their analysis leading to improved estimates of sea-level rise impacts, ecosystem modeling, and restoration planning and conservation efforts.
Michael received his Bachelor’s of Science in Resource conservation in the College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana in 2010 with focuses on Geography, Environmental Policy/Law, and Water Resources. During his undergrad, Michael developed the geospatial analysis methodology for an economic study assessing the impact of dam removal on home sales on the Sandy River, Oregon. The data was so large that it had to be run on a supercomputer!
If Michael is not frying his computers on a geospatial model or in the field conducting research, you can likely find him tromping around a river with a Spey fly-rod chasing elusive steelhead, instructing at a high-performance driving event, or brewing beer.